Seagal was recently on “The Voice” for a for a full hour interview. All in all, it was pretty entertaining and if you can use your internet skills or Tivo’d it, its worth a watch.
- Seagal talked about his training history, his time in Japan, getting into movies etc. This part is pretty cool – Seagal is a legit aikidoka and has some depth in traditional martial arts. At one point, he mentions that Lyoto Machida’s dad is a bit envious of his trainers and vice versa.
- Steven alludes to having to use his skills “hundreds” of times, also suggested that he may have actually used the cue-ball-in-the-bandana weapon (from his movie Out for Justice). Moreover, he jabs at Micheal Jai White and Jean Claude Van Damme (The Voice asks if they are real martial artists and he responds, “Can I laugh in your face?”). He does give a nod to Jet Li and a begrudging acceptance of Chuck Norris as a “tough guy”.
- On the Judo Gene Label story – where Gene chokes out Seagal and Steven poops his pants – Steven says it is hogwash and Gene’s a liar. I’m not normally with Seagal’s worldview, but the choke-crap-caper is a bit too … mythical? Much like Steven’s magic powers.
- On training Lyoto an Anderson Silva: his official record is that one of Anderson’s guys phoned him, knowing about Seagals “lethal stuff”, and started teaching him. Yes, he acknowledges that people have seen the front kick, but they way he teaches it is different in some important [mystical?] ways. I’m totally going to write a whole post about this front kick.
- On being one of the first Mixed Martial Artists; sure he was studying all sorts of different systems and mixing it up, but so were thousands of other guys. The notion that MMA is somehow new doesn’t fly with him; Seagal also makes distinctions between fighters, warriors, athletes and true martial artists.
- Seagal acknowledges that he’s made some good movies and some terrible movies; he’s not too broken up about admitting that; this seems like a pretty grounded thing to say, +1 to you Steven.
- Seagal thinks that he may be faster now than he was a two decades ago; – 1 to you Steven.
- Of all the things he’s done, he seems to enjoy helping people – especially with his law enforcement and humanitarian work.
In summary, if you hate the guy, you’ll find plenty more to latch onto. If you like him, you’ll find enough here to substantiate that too. Personally, I like the guy. He’s weird, exaggerates and is a bit deluded – but he really does love traditional martial arts and is both knowledgeable and passionate.
On the bizzaro spectrum, Steven Seagal is more normal than Mayhem Miller and Bob Arum, but crazier than Diego Sanchez and Tito Ortiz.